I wasn't able to get to the last Wasbo Derek gig, where the Brian-era repertoire was put to bed, so this one has been in The Diary for months. Even though it was hot (again) and the train was packed with young men with piercingly loud voices clutching alcopops and broadcasting their friends' secrets across the heads of irritated passengers, it was worth the journey.
Oh, the Mr Whippies of the Brighton seafront!
That was the first stop, and then The Prince Albert which was thankfully air-conditioned, because it was heaving with people. The show had begun by the time we got there and we watched the poet Darren Beaney before Wasbo went on stage, with Joe Davin joining the band on keyboards and their fabulous new young-blood drummer Kaya Kendal.
All the songs were new, which I felt was very brave. I rather enjoyed the unfinishedness of some of them. I have been missing the band's magnificent air of 'we don't care' and their thundering musicianship, and as usual they mocked the deserving-of-mockery without mercy. I loved their last number Carnivore Collective, having seen just that very band on the seafront minutes earlier. And the song about Teams made me roar with laughter. Be more agile, my *rse! What a stroke of genius to include the horrible nagging Teams call signal in the song. It was totally cathartic to have them sing about all those little things that are so endlessly annoying with such uproarious good humour, and to watch Jem charging across the stage with such joyful abandon again. The crowd had assembled from far and wide- Caryne and Dave from Frome and assorted Londoners including some of Bitter Springs, Simon and Kim, and Lee from Cult Figures (playing at the Dublin Castle on Saturday next week). Final band on the bill were Tigers and Flies, who featured some ace trumpet and trombone arrangements and a drummer trained by Brian Blainey, no less.
Sometimes, girls and guys just need to have fun. I'd walked into that gig with a pile of anxiety on my shoulders, and left it completely carefree and ready for a huge bag of chips on the pier. Salt and vinegar on mine.
(W)Asbo Derek, welcome back in your new incarnation. Here's to many more gigs, records and hilarious afternoons like this, where the audience gets the point of the songs straight away and sings along (wrong words and tune, but what the heck), and heckles hilariously between songs. I have a feeling the new drummer is going to really enjoy the ride. There was a cowbell clunk in a gap in the proceedings that was the closest to a sonic wink you can get... and that my friends, is that!